V75/Tuesday: "Ecurie D. coming to win Hugo Åbergs...forget it!"

With eleven wins in the first eleven starts of his career, Ecurie D. is the horse that everyone is talking about for Hugo Åbergs Memorial on Tuesday.
But the 'home team' is hardly rolling out the red carpet.
"A four year old coming here to win Hugo Åbergs from the second tier...forget it" says Lutfi Kolgjini firmly.

Lutfi Kolgjini won Hugo Åbergs in 2003 with Revenue...at the time the biggest moment of his career.
"My parents were there without me knowing it. They hadn't been to Jägersro in many years. It was a milestone for me. Hugo Åbergs and the Derby were the two races I really wanted to win when I started my training career at Jägersro".
'Ludde' also won with Lavec Kronos in 2010 and 2011, both times as a long shot.
"That horse was always in fantastic form in July and August" he remembers.
This year the big hope of the stable is Tae Kwon Deo, a five year old stud horse who just like Lavec Kronos won the Sprint Championship as a four year old.
But there won't be a fourth driving victory for Ludde this time. His son Adrian Kolgjini is now in charge of the stable. He is also the number one driver of the stable.
Adrian is the one who will drive Tae Kwon Deo on Tuesday.
"Tae Kwon Deo is out best chance on V75 on Tuesday, even if Upset Face and Eclipse AM also can win" says Lutfi Kolgjini who is hopeful for Tuesday.
He thinks, like everyone else, that Ecurie D is a very nice four year old. But it ends there. 'Ludde' doesn't see him as the horse to beat, he doesn't even see how he could be a serious win candidate.
"The ones who think a four year old can beat these horses are dead wrong, I think. The older horses have a completely different toughness. I find it hard to believe that Ecurie D. can win Hugo Åbergs from the second tier". 

"Should not be part of the discussion"
'Ludde' sees two other horses, as the main opponents for Tae Kwon Deo on Tuesday.
"I don't think Ecurie D. should be part of the discussion about who will be the favorite. It should be between Double Exposure and Vitruvio, I think. Double Exposure is a fantastic mare, tough as nails and seems very smart. You almost get the same feeling for her as with Redén's previous super mare Delicious".
Vitruvio will be driven by Björn Goop and Double Exposure by Örjan Kihlström in Hugo Åbergs, which is V75-6.
But even if he doesn't expect Tae Kwan Deo to be the favorite of the race (after the impressive effort in Kalmar when he win in 1:09.6) Kogjini still hopes and thinks that his son Adrian will win the race.
"Tae Kwon Deo has the gait, the strength and he also has a tremendous attitude towards his job. He never backs off.
The shameful break in the Elitlopp elimination is a memory that Kolgjini wants to erase for good on Tuesday.
"We still don't have any explanation to that. It was a one-off mistake for Tae Kwon Deo, we think". 


"Will not leave for the lead"  
The Elitlopp runner-up Cockstile who will be driven by Wim Paal was the winner in the draw as he drew post position one behind the gate. Post position two is a good spot for Tae Kwan Deo.
"Adrian will just guard his position in the start. I don't think he will be leaving hard. A horse like Tae Kwan Deo doesn't win or lose a race in the start. They can only lose by leaving too hard and be a part of the battle for the lead. There will plenty of action from the start. Lövgren's Racing Mange, for example is lightning fast" says 'Ludde'.
With a good trip, Lutfi Kolgjini thinks that Tae Kwan Deo is one of the horses who will end up battling for the win.
"He is strong and tough and can do the hard work himself. A top horse".
Tae Kwon Deo will race with his optimal balance in Hugo Åbergs.
"That is no problem. We have saved the horse and his feet. He has only made four starts this year. We skipped Norrbotten and Årjäng and have aimed for this race. There was no reason to go all over the place". 

Daddy is keeping busy
Lutfi turned 60 last year (his son Adrian is 27) but early retirement is not an option. He still has 35 two year olds on his training list (Adrian has 60 horses on his list).
I break them and train them as two year olds before they end up with Adrian. I prepare the training tracks and I take care of our breeding business which is still pretty big. I was supposed to cut down the breeding part of it, I thought this year would be a bit more quiet for me. But I still don't have time for much more than the horses" he says.
On Friday of the Derby week Lutfi will arrange an online auction together with Menhammar stuteri.
And 'Ludde' also still drives...
Like on Tuesday, when he can win the first V75 leg with four year old Upset Face. Here are Lutfi's comments on the Kolgjini stable's horses racing on V75 on Tuesday:

6 Upset Face (driver Lutfi Kolgjini), V75-1: 
"He raced well in both heats of the Sprint Championship (second in the elimination, fifth in the final). He needed that blowout, he's pretty laid back and lazy at home. We have pretty high hopes for him for the Derby eliminations, so he should be able to win a race like this. He can win, he's got a good chance. But the Derby is what we're aiming him for". 

He raced with shoes in both heats of the Sprint Championship?
"We will pull all his shoes in the Derby, not before that". 

7 Billions (Adrian Kolgjini), V75-2:
"He hasn't lived up to what he promised in the beginning of the season. We keep training him as usual and wait for him to come around on his own. He could be third or fourth, maybe". 

2 Eclipse AM (Adrian Kolgjini), V75-3:
"He is definitely good enough for this class. He won in a great time with the earplugs still in and without being tired in his last start. There's more to come here". 
Anything else?
"Eclipse AM will race barefoot all around on Tuesday. That would be the first time. That is the most dramatic change in balance on all our V75 starters on Tuesday".

8 Smokin Joe (Lutfi Kolgjini), V75-5:
"He will not win this race, from that post position. We're happy if he can get a check". 
5 Victory Lee (Adrian Kolgjini), V75-7:
"He should be battling for the top spots, but it might be hard to hold off the best horses, starting 40 meters behind him. He's in good form and he was interfered with when he made a break in his last start". 
10 Speedy Face (Dante Kolgjini), V75-7:
"He's in very, very good form but hasn't had the right racing luck. The day when it all comes together for him, he could beat pretty much anyone. That goes for Tuesday, too". 
To sum it up?
"We have a few good chances, but I think our best chance is Tae Kwan Deo in Hugo Åbergs, of the V75 starters, that is". 
Anything you want to say to the fans?
"We miss you at the tracks! Now when the Corona situation is slowing down, I think we should let in a couple of representatives for each horse. Owners, I mean. They're all licensed and we've got big facilities so it shouldn't be crowded if we allow two people per horse in".